Constitution and By Laws of the Faculty Senate
CONSTITUTION & BY LAWS of the FACULTY SENATE OF SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE
Article I. NAME AND PURPOSE
The name of the organization will be the Faculty Senate of South Plains College. The purpose of the organization will be to provide a forum for the integration of ideas and goals, to facilitate communication among faculty, support personnel and the administration, to serve as an advisory board which shall present recommendations to appropriate administrative officials, and to work toward achieving a quality education for all students.
Article II. ORGANIZATION
Section 1. Clarification of terms:
Representatives to the Faculty Senate are hereafter referred to as senators.
Full-time instructors and full-time academic support services professionals are hereafter referred to as faculty.
Academic and vocational instructional departments and academic support service entities, including the libraries, special services, guidance and counseling centers, and learning centers of each campus are hereafter referred to as departments.
Section 2. The Faculty Senate will be composed of representatives selected by each department from the Levelland and Lubbock campuses of South Plains College.
Section 3. Each department will select one senator and one alternate who will serve as its representatives in the Faculty Senate for a term of 3 years.
Section 4. Should a senator be unable to attend a monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate, the alternate from his or her department may attend and vote on any matter of business. Should a senator be unable to complete his or her term, that department may ask the alternate senator to complete the unexpired term, or a new senator may be selected to complete the unexpired term.
Section 5. The Faculty Senate will elect from the senate membership a President, a Vice President and a Secretary/Treasurer.
Article III. SENATE STRUCTURE AND OPERATIONS
Section 1. The Faculty Senate will formulate its own bylaws and rules of procedure.
Section 2. The Faculty Senate shall meet monthly during the regular academic year. Additional meetings may be called as necessary by the membership or by the President of the Faculty Senate. All meetings of the Faculty Senate will be open meetings unless the Senate membership declares by two-thirds vote that a specified meeting be conducted in closed session.
Section 3. The Faculty Senate may establish committees as it deems appropriate. Members of senate committees will be named by the Senate President with consideration given to equal representation of the college divisions.
Section 4. The Faculty Senate will publish minutes of each meeting and regularly report its activities.
Section 5. The Faculty Senate may request a meeting of the entire faculty when approved by a simple majority vote of the Faculty Senate. The President of the Faculty Senate will serve as Presiding Officer at all such meetings. In the absence of the Senate President, the Senate Vice President or Senate Secretary/Treasurer will preside in that order. No decision, recommendation, or advice may come from such a convened meeting unless one of the above named has served as presiding officer.
Section 6. To ensure continuity of purpose and operation of the Faculty Senate and to prevent a complete turnover of senate membership every three years, one-third of the senate will be selected each year thereby creating a rotating membership (See Article VII, Initial Composition).
Article IV. SENATE OFFICERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1. The Faculty Senate will elect a President from its membership. The Senate President will serve a term of one calendar year and will be a non-voting presiding officer. The department which is represented by the elected Senate President, will send their alternate to the meetings to be their vote during the Senate President's tenure. At the end of the one-year term, the Senate President may resume his or her duties as a voting senator. The Senate President will preside over the meetings of the Faculty Senate. He or she will create and publish, in advance of each meeting, an agenda for the meeting. The Senate President will communicate the recommendations of the Senate to the appropriate administrator or the Board of Regents.
Section 2. The Faculty Senate will elect a Vice President from its membership. The Senate Vice President will serve a term of one calendar year in the Senate Vice President's capacity, and will be Senate President-elect: that is, he or she will assume the office of Senate President in the year following his or her term as Senate Vice President. The Senate Vice President will be a voting member of the Faculty Senate and will continue to represent his or her department. The Senate Vice President will preside over the meetings of the Faculty Senate in the absence of the Senate President.
Section 3. The Faculty Senate will elect a Senate Secretary/Treasurer from its membership who will serve a term of one calendar year. The Senate Secretary/Treasurer will be a voting member of the Faculty Senate and will continue to represent his or her department. The Senate Secretary/Treasurer will record and publish minutes of each meeting and will preside over the meetings of the Faculty Senate in the absence of the Senate President and the Senate Vice President. The Senate Secretary/Treasurer will oversee the operating budget of the Senate when such budget is established.
Article V. JURISDICTION
Section 1. The Faculty Senate will act on behalf of the faculty, act as an advisory body and make recommendations to the college president on matters of concern. If the president chooses not follow the recommendations, the Faculty Senate may request an explanation.
Section 2. Any member of the College community may bring a matter of college concern to the attention of the Faculty Senate.
Article VI. AMENDMENT PROCEDURE
Section 1. An amendment to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate may be proposed by (1) a petition to the President of the Faculty Senate signed by at least 20 members of the faculty, which may include senators, (2) by a two-thirds vote of the senators, or (3) by the President of the College.
Section 2. A proposed amendment to this Constitution will be distributed to the entire faculty at least four weeks prior to its consideration. An amendment will become effective when adopted by a simple majority of the faculty participating in the vote, ratified by the President of the College, and approved by the Board of Regents.
Article VII. INITIAL COMPOSITION
The initial composition of the Faculty Senate will consist of a senator from each department. In order to create a rotating membership, at the end of the first year, a drawing will be held among the senators. One-third may be replaced by another member of their department for the following year. One-third will serve a second year and one-third will serve three consecutive years. The President of the Faculty Senate, in the initial year, will be elected by the senators from their membership, and thereafter, the Senate Vice President will be the Senate President-elect.
Article VIII. ADOPTION AND RATIFICATION
The Constitution of the Faculty Senate will become effective when adopted by a simple majority vote of the faculty.